Car is going through MOT Test

Complete Guide To Prepare for a Car MOT Test

Preparing your car for an MOT test is crucial to ensure it meets the safety and environmental standards set by the authorities. This guide will provide you with comprehensive steps to get your car ready for its MOT test, ensuring a smooth and successful inspection. If you’re searching for “Van MOT near me,” these tips will help you get your vehicle in top condition.

1. Understand What an MOT Test Entails

An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is an annual inspection that assesses the roadworthiness, safety, and emissions of vehicles older than three years. It is a legal requirement in many countries, including the UK, to ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and meet environmental standards. The test covers various aspects of your car, including lights, brakes, tires, suspension, and emissions.

Understanding the scope of the MOT test is the first step in preparing your vehicle. Familiarize yourself with the checklist your local transport authority provided so you know exactly what will be inspected. This knowledge will help you focus on the critical areas that need attention.

2. Check and Maintain Your Car’s Lights

One of the most common reasons for MOT failures is faulty lighting. Ensure that all your car’s lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights, are functioning correctly. Check for any blown bulbs and replace them as necessary. Clean the light covers to ensure maximum visibility.

It’s also essential to check the alignment of your headlights. Misaligned headlights can dazzle other drivers and fail the MOT test. You can easily check the alignment by parking your car in front of a wall and turning on the headlights. The light beams should be at the same level and angle. If they are not, adjust them accordingly or seek professional help.

3. Inspect the Condition of Tires

Tires play a crucial role in your vehicle’s safety and performance. Inspect your tires for adequate tread depth, which should be at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tire. Use a tread depth gauge to check this accurately. Additionally, look for any signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or embedded objects.

Ensure that your tires are correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can affect handling and braking performance. If your vehicle has a spare tire, remember to check it as well.

4. Test the Brakes

Brakes are another critical component that must be in top condition for an MOT test. Start by checking the brake pads and discs for wear. If the pads are less than 3mm thick, they need to be replaced. Look for any signs of damage or scoring on the brake discs.

Next, test the brake pedal. It should feel firm when pressed and not sink to the floor. If you notice any unusual noises, such as squealing or grinding, it could indicate a problem with the brakes that needs to be addressed. Also, check the handbrake to ensure it holds the car securely on an incline.

5. Examine the Exhaust System

The exhaust system is inspected during the MOT test for leaks and excessive noise. Check the entire length of the exhaust pipe for any holes, rust, or damage. If you notice any issues, have them repaired or replaced by a professional.

Additionally, ensure that your car’s emissions are within the acceptable limits. A high level of emissions can result in an MOT failure. Consider having an emissions test done before the MOT to identify any potential problems.

6. Assess the Suspension and Steering

The suspension and steering components of your car must be in good condition for the MOT test. Check the shock absorbers for any signs of leaking fluid or damage. You can test the shock absorbers by pressing down on each corner of the car; it should bounce back smoothly without excessive movement.

Inspect the steering for any signs of wear or damage. Ensure that there is no excessive play in the steering wheel and that it moves smoothly without any unusual noises. If you notice any issues, have them checked by a professional mechanic.

7. Verify the Condition of the Windscreen and Wipers

A clear and unobstructed view is essential for safe driving, and the MOT test will check your windscreen for any damage. Ensure that there are no cracks or chips larger than 10mm in the driver’s line of sight or 40mm elsewhere on the windscreen. Small chips can often be repaired, but larger ones may require a windscreen replacement.

Check the condition of your wiper blades and washer fluid. The wiper blades should be in good condition, with no tears or cracks, and should clean the windscreen effectively. Ensure that the washer fluid reservoir is filled, as a lack of washer fluid can result in an MOT failure.

8. Ensure All Seatbelts Are Functional

Seatbelts are a vital safety feature, and they must be in good working condition for the MOT test. Check each seatbelt for any signs of wear, damage, or fraying. Ensure that they retract and latch correctly and that the buckles are working properly.

Test the seatbelt locking mechanism by pulling the belt sharply; it should lock in place. If any of the seatbelts are not functioning correctly, they need to be repaired or replaced before the MOT test.


Preparing your car for an MOT test involves a thorough check of various components to ensure they meet the required standards. By following this comprehensive guide, you can address potential issues beforehand and increase the likelihood of passing the test. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs not only help you pass the MOT but also ensure your vehicle remains safe and reliable on the road. Also read: 5 Crucial Tips for Efficient Diesel Injector Repair